BBC issues pay warning over strike action
The BBC has warned staff who refuse to cross picket lines during two days of strike action next month that they will not be paid.
The corporation's TV, radio and online news output is expected to be disrupted on Friday 3 April and Thursday 9 April after the National Union of Journalists voted for strike action in protest at compulsory redundancies in the BBC World Service's South Asian section and at BBC Scotland.
In an email sent to staff, BBC management said: "We expect all staff who have not been balloted to cross any picket lines and report to work as usual on these days.
"Those that do not attend work will not be paid. Leave that has already been booked will be honoured - however, any new requests will not be accepted.
"Similarly, if you are unfortunate enough to be sick on either of these days we will require a medical certificate to avoid any confusion as to whether you were participating in strike action. If you normally work from home you will need to get permission from your line manager to do so on these days."
Nearly 800 members of the NUJ's BBC chapel voted in favour of industrial action in a national ballot earlier this month. More than 1,100 of the union's nearly 4,000 members at the corporation took part in the vote.
The most urgent threat of compulsory cuts is at the World Service's South Asian section, where up to 20 union members are at risk, with jobs also under threat at BBC Scotland.
In its message to staff, the corporation described the strike vote as "very disappointing". It said a "very small number of jobs" were at risk.
"The BBC cannot guarantee that there won't be compulsory redundancies now or in the future. However, we are making every effort to help the people involved and will do so whether industrial action happens or not."
It added: "Our industry is changing, not least because of the state of the economy and advances in technology. Many of our competitors are struggling and many licence fee payers are in danger of losing their jobs and livelihoods.
"Naturally, we do not want anyone to lose their jobs but the BBC too, faces challenging efficiency savings to ensure greater value for money for our audiences. We will continue to strive to make strenuous efforts to avoid compulsory redundancies."
Workers in the NUJ union in regional and national operations were balloted, and there was a 77 percent vote for action. They are fighting to save 20 jobs under threat at the World Service and to protect workers from further cuts. The strike days are set for Friday of next week and 9 April. The strike will hit BBC centres across the country and have a significant impact on broadcasting. It will send a clear message to management that compulsory job cuts will not be taken lying down.